A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club October 2012


 Bible Verse

Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (NIV)



President’s Report

Due to numerous events, it has been a couple of months since my last newsletter. Fall weather has arrived and it seems like things are very busy this time of the year. Here locally, October brings the opening day of deer season, the Queen City Fair, a gun show in Laurel, Faunsdale Bike Rally, MFJ 40th year anniversary, and ARRL Day in the Park, just to mention a few.

Related to amateur radio, the ARRL Day in the Park will be held in conjunction with the MFJ 40th year anniversary and is being celebrated on the weekend of October 5th and 6th in Starkville. MFJ will have prizes, factory tours, free lunch, tailgating, license exams, and a special event station. I hope you can attend. If not, the next best thing would be to check in with the MFJ 40th Anniversary Special Event Station on Saturday, October 6 from 8a.m.  – 2p.m.

For more information and registration visit:

Our next business meeting will be held at the Checker Board Restaurant on October 13th. I would like to get ideas for the Christmas party location and would also like you to be considering who our new 2013 officers will be.  

73, Darrell, W5MAV



Next Business Meeting

The next business meeting will be held at the Checker Board Restaurant on Saturday, October 13, 2012 beginning at 10 A.M. Come join us for breakfast, coffee and fellowship.



Invitation to Shelby County ARC hamfest

I am writing to invite you and the members of Meridian ARC to a growing hamfest in Central Alabama. It will be held in Helena, Alabama, which is a suburb of Birmingham. The date is October 13 from 9 a. m. to 1 p. m. Please announce the hamfest on your local nets, club meetings, and on the air QSO’s.

What will be there you ask. The event is sponsored by the City of Helena and the Shelby County ARC. It is located in an outdoor amphitheater which you can check out at . The amphitheater is located beside Buck Creek in downtown Old Town Helena. It has over 100 vendor areas with 120 volt electrical outlets. The location makes it very much a family affair with a large Kiddy Playground located in the middle of the park.

There will be over $900.00 in prizes given away. Prize tickets will only cost $0.50 each if you purchase $20.00 or more. Admission is only $2.00. More information on prizes will be sent later.

Although it is fundamentally a tail gate event, MFJ will bring a big truck of goodies from their factory. We expect to have several of the 60 vendors invited to attend also. There are usually quite a number of tail gate vehicles and the best parking spaces are reserved for the tail gate vehicles.

Current information or updates about this exciting hamfest are available at This is an ARRL sanctioned event. Additional flyers can be printed from this site. See the “download file” in the lower right corner.

We realize it is quite a distance for you and your members. Talk it up among your membership and form some carpools. We believe it will make a very pleasant and enjoyable trip and day for everyone.

Any questions or inquires you have can be directed to me. We look forward to seeing our fellow hams from Central Mississippi at the hamfest.


David Ihle, WB5MSB
Member Shelby County ARC (preferred)



Is Amateur Radio Too Focused on EmComm?

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

On the HamRadioHelpGroup, a Yahoo Group mailing list for anyone looking for help with anything related to amateur radio, one ham asked "Over lunch today I read the September issue of QST, which is heavily EmComm oriented. The articles were interesting, but the op-ed piece on page 98 seemed a little over the top to me... Has this focus of this intensity always been a part of ham radio and I just wasn’t expecting it? How has it evolved over the years?"

To answer the question, another replied by posting Section 97.1, namely the principles behind the amateur radio service:

Sec. 97.1 Basis and purpose.

The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

He went on to say, "I think that 97.1(a) addresses your question."

I like that reply a lot. First, it shows that providing emergency and public-service communications has been a part of amateur radio since its beginnings. Some hams are extremely focused on this, and I applaud them. In my opinion, the piece referred to in the latest QST was not over the top.

I think, however, that some hams do sometimes go overboard on emcomm, and act as if it’s the only reason that ham radio exists. It’s not. As you can see, the rules describe five different “purposes” for amateur radio. Emcomm might be the first, but it’s only one of five. We need to keep in mind the other four as well. I personally like (e), and would like to see amateur radio actually do more to promote international good will.

What do you think?


When he's not pondering the place of emergency communications in amateur radio, Dan, KB6NU, writes books about ham radio. He is currently feverishly trying to finish the No-Nonsense Extra Class License Guide. You can read excerpts from this upcoming book on his website, You can e-mail him with comments, questions, compliments, or brickbats at




2012 MFJ Day in the Park





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